Hope Project

How Hope is supporting homelessness services during Covid-19

Since the UK first went into lockdown in March, rough sleepers and other people experiencing homelessness have been accommodated in hotels and emergency housing so they can adhere to Government guidance on isolation and hygiene. However, many of these accommodations are unable to accept dogs. For homeless dog-owners, their dog is their main companion, so they’re unlikely to move into alternative accommodation if this means giving up their beloved pet.

Our Hope Project has continued to operate throughout lockdown. And we’ve adapted our Welcoming Dogs scheme to make sure we can provide ongoing support and guidance to hotels and homelessness services on accepting and managing dogs.

For more information or to contact the Hope Project team directly, please visit www.dogstrusthopeproject.org.uk or email [email protected]. 

Help and support for hotels or homelessness services 

We can offer: 

  • Tailored advice, by telephone or video call, about accepting and managing dogs. 
  • Emergency dog food and essential items like collars, leads, toys and bedding, which can be delivered directly to you. 
  • Free emergency vet care for any dogs should they become unwell, as well as transportation to the vet practice 
  • Temporary private boarding for dogs belonging to homeless people if they need to access hospital treatment. 

For guidance for homelessness services on supporting dog owners, download our information sheet. 

Supporting homeless dog owners information sheet PDF 70 KB 

Help and support for homeless dog owners

If you are a homeless dog owner, we understand that this is a difficult and worrying time. We have created guidance on caring for your dog, including what to do if you have to self-isolate.  

Walking and caring for your dog information sheet PDF 76 KB 

About the Hope Project

No one should have to choose between a safe place to sleep and their dog, but many people experiencing homelessness are left with that decision. Because being without their dog is an unbearable thought, they may feel they have no other option than to sleep rough or live in unsuitable or unsafe accommodation. We offer homelessness service providers free, practical, help and advice to help them implement changes that will make the world of difference to dog owners experiencing homelessness and ensure that people and their pets can stay together. 

We also support homeless dog owners directly, with covering veterinary costs and finding accommodation. 

For more information or to contact the Hope Project team directly, please visit www.dogstrusthopeproject.org.uk or email [email protected].  



Hope at Christmas 

We know that Christmas can often be a difficult and lonely time for people experiencing homelessness That’s why every year, we send parcels of Christmas goodies to dogs whose owners will be homeless over the festive season. This Christmas is no different, and we’ll be sending out more than 1,500 festive hampers across the UK.  

If you could help us give hope to dogs whose owners are experiencing homelessness this Christmas, please donate here: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/news-events/latest-appeal/hope-appeal/ 

Veterinary costs 

We can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment for any dog whose owner is experiencing homelessness or in housing crisis, including preventative treatment (flea and worming, neutering, vaccinations and microchipping) and most other essential and emergency treatment.  

The scheme runs in 114 towns and cities across the UK and is available to any dog owner who is rough sleeping or living in temporary accommodation such as a hostel, night shelter or temporary accommodation. We can also help dog owners who are sofa surfing, living in a tent/vehicle, or living on an unauthorised travellers site.  

Dog owners can apply to our scheme through any participating homelessness organisation or directly through our website: https://www.moretodogstrust.org.uk/help-with-veterinary-costs/help-with-veterinary-costs 

Help finding accommodation - Welcoming Dogs 

For dog-owners looking for accommodation, we have an online directory of dog-friendly hostels on our website: https://www.moretodogstrust.org.uk/help-with-finding-accommodation/dog-friendly-hostels 

We also work with accommodation providers to support them to accept and manage dogs through our Welcoming Dogs scheme. We offer a complete support package, including  resources and advice on hygiene, behaviour and health and safety . We’ll also carry out tailored consultations for services, and help to put together a bespoke dog policy and dog owner agreement, to ensure they can safely manage the practicalities of welcoming dogs. We’ll also provide a full starter pack of items so the service has everything they need to begin accepting dogs. Once they’re accepting dogs, we’ll endorse them as a ‘Welcoming Dogs’ service and send out a certificate to display in the accommodation. 

Our Work in Scotland 

We’ve launched a dedicated, 1-year project in Scotland alongside leading homelessness provider Simon Community Scotland, to strengthen our work improving dog-friendly provision. We are working with homelessness organisations across Scotland to become pet-friendly and help to keep people and their pets together. 

For more information, visit https://www.moretodogstrust.org.uk/hope-project-parent-our-work-in-scotland/our-work-in-scotland 

Some of the people and dogs we’ve helped 


Louisa and Matilda 

2020 has been challenging for Louisa and her dog Matilda. Due to the pandemic, Louisa lost both her job and accommodation. Then Matilda developed problems in her back legs which needed urgent, expensive surgery. An expense that Louisa simply couldn’t afford. The services available to support Louisa and Matilda were very limited. Luckily, she discovered our Hope Project and gave us a call. We were able to register Matilda on our vet scheme so that she could access free vet care. 

Louisa explains: “Matildas always been there for me, she understands me, she knows if I’m upset and comforts me when I need it. Its such a burden off my shoulders to be able to rely on the Hope Project for her health. The Project has been a massive, massive help.” 


Paul and Blake 

Paul and his pooch Blake were staying in a dog-friendly hostel until the pandemic hit, forcing them to move into a hotel as part of the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme. 

Paul explains, “I have found living in the hotel room very difficult and isolating. I genuinely don’t think I would have been able to cope without Blake. He is the only constant in my life, he’s my best friend and he perks me up every day. I don’t get lonely because I have him.”  

“It’s a huge relief knowing that if Blake gets ill, I won’t need to worry about paying the bills. I wouldn’t be able to afford it without you! It’s also been lovely to receive parcels with food, a winter coat and other dog treats.”